All entries missing for add remove programs

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jutinger

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Nov 6, 2001
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We have several computers that come up with a registry error. Windows 98se restores the registry and the system boots up normally. The problem is, all of the entries in the install/uninstall portion of the add/remove program properties are missing. It is completely blank. We have hundreds of these computers and only a dozen or so have this problem. We replace the Mainboard and the problem goes away. It is now happening to some of the replaced boards. The systems are Gateway E-1400's. Intel Celeron 700Mhz. They are cloned, so the software is pretty much the same. We are running Win98se, Novell Netware 3.21, Office 2000, Groupwise 5.5. When the registry error occurs the entries in the install/unistall disapear and all of the microsoft office applications will not run. The message appears that "The Windows Installer Failed To Load The Program Associated With This File" We reclone the system or rebuild it from scratch and it may last a day or two and it happens again. We have systems from 486 DX2/66 to P4 1.4Ghz and the Celeron 700 systems seem to be the ones that get hit. We have had 3 or 5 PII350's have the same issue and replaced the Mainboard and the problem went away. We have played with this for a while and we are thinking that there is some problem with timing and memory. Any help would be appreciated.
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2000
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It's hard to speculate specifically about the problem with Add\Remove, but let's say for hypothetical puposes that it is directly connected to the registry errors.

There have been 3 issues that we've seen most commonly at the root of them. One is faulty ram and while I think this is probably not the cause here, it still should be checked out. You can try a software tester such as Docmemory, if you want:

http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q188/8/67.asp

More likely in my opinion, are shutdown related timing issues which cause failures to write to the registry from the hard drive cache. There is an update for WinSE, which you should see recommended on the Windows Update Page, or you can review and download it here:

http://www.microsoft.com/Windows98/downloads/contents/WUCritical/q273017/Default.asp

A second related issue may be due to the Promise Controller used in Gateways. There is an update for that as well, although I think they are still calling it a "beta". You can get some info on it here:

http://www.gateway.com/support/techdocs/software/windows/151307410.shtml

The third thing which I have seen affect the repeating registry error problem is in some systems where ACPI is enabled in the BIOS. Disabling this proved a successful last resort in 3 cases that I know of.
 
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